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August 17, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-08-17

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Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Saturday, August 17, 1974
News Phone: 764-0552 -
Ford must reexamine
ecological priorities
LIKE HIS WHITE HOUSE predecessors, President Fod
advocates full-tilt economic progress while only
making token gestures toward environmental protection.
The "revved up" economy Ford urges to curb infla-
tion without the ecological "self-restraint" could spiral
our environmental problems out of control. In a state-
ment read at Expo '74 Thursday, the president stressed
that last winter's energy crisis demonstrated that the
nation must mine more coal, drill for more oil on the
ocean's continental shelf, and speed construction of nu-
clear power plants.
Such actions guarantee more ocean oil spills, more
strip mining, and speedy construction of nuclear power
plants, despite reports of radioactive leaks-all in the
name of progress.
Even more irksome is the president's rationalization
of further growth without adequate environmental pre-
'The environmentalists fail to consider the one in-
exhaustible resource-man's creative ability," he said.
How can he be so naive to expect scientific tech-
nology to clean the air when its own smoke-belching en-
gines tarnish such efforts?
SIMILARLY, TECHNOLOGICAL advances cannot end
war if weapons are improved by it. Science cannot
solve pollution until its own priorities are reordered.
President Gera Ford cannot afford to lean on sci-
ence. The energy "crisis" should have demonstrated to
him that consumption has outpaced the American's ac-
tual needs.
Last winter was a breathing spell for people, ma-
chines, and environment. but also a warning: people, in
the name of progress have become increasingly depend-
ent on his machine.
Ford's proosal to "trade-off" the environment for
"the needs of the immediate present" merely prolong
and compounds the problem.
Therefore we urge President Ford to slow further
industrial growth in order to grant us another respite.
Then, we must reexamine our consumption priorities;
redistribute our already overabundant resources to those
in need; and determine how a massive ecological clean-
up could proceed hand-in-hand with industrial growth,
and still keep us contented.
OOOPS . . .
YESTERDAY STEVE LeMire commented on a Letter to
The Daily from Doug Nelson. In his editorial he
implied that Lloyd Fairbanks was a member of City
Council, and nartininated in the vote on the Blues and
Jazz Festival. This is incorrect. and we would like to
apologize for any misunderstanding this inaccuracy
In Tuesday morning's Daily we will print a reply
from Mr. Fairbanks to Mr. Nelson's letter of August 13.
Summer Staff
Editorial Director
Arts Editor
GORDON ATCHESON. ............ . ... Night Editor

CHERYLPILATE ................ .Night Editor
JEFF SORENSEN .. .......Night Editor
BARBARA CORNELL .... Asst. Night Editor
DELLA DIPIETRO . ............ Asa't. Night Editor
BILLNEENAN Ass't Night Editor
ANDREA LILLY.............,.......... Assa. Night Editor
STEPHEN HERSH .. . . ...................... . Ass't. Night Editor
DAVID WHITING ......... Asst. Night Editor
KEN INK .. ... ................... .............. Photographer
STEVE KAGAN .................................. ......... Photographer
Sports Editor
CLARKE COGSDILL .........Contributing Sports Editor
GEORGE HASTINGS......Executive Sports Editor
JOHN KAHLER... . ... ..Associate Sports Editor
ROGER ROSSITER. .... Managing Sports Editor
S oliess Manager
JOAN ADES.. . .... ......... ...........Circulation Manager
KAREN COPELAND . . ........... ............ Display Manager
EMILY HIRN ... . . . . . . . Office Ass't.
KATHY KELLER......... ....Office A't
CAB.SIE BT. CLAIR...................... Clasaifiusd Manager

The Sun and HRP:

'THE LATE Floating Opera,
a now-defunct local band,
once put out an album that re-
ferred to Ann Arbor as "t h e
cultural oasis of the Midwest."
But the reputation of this fair
city doesn't end with culture.
With its $5 dope fine, all-inclus-
ive human rights ordinance, and
chaotic three-party city coun-
cil, Ann Arbor also seems like
a political oasis to some of us.
But inevitably there are con-
flicts - as insiders know all too
One such case is the two-year
feud between the Human Rights
Party (HRP) and the Ann Arbor
Sun. These two organizations
seem to be working towards
similar goals - socialism and
general liberation of oppressed
minorities. And this is, in fact,
true. But bitter disagreements
over what tactics and strategies
will best achieve these ends
haveakept the two groups work-
ing at cross-purposes for three
To those following the dispute,
it should have come as no sur-
prise that theiSun endorsed
Democrats for City Council last
"In the eyes of many people
in this community, the HRP is
indirectly responsible for the
tremendous setbacks this com-
munity has suffered at the
hands of a Republican-dominat-
ed Council . . . To endorse any
HRP candidates would be to
endorse the past two years of
needless setbacks . . .
-The Ann Arbor Sun,
March 22, 1974
WITH THIS election-issue de-
claration, the Sun editorial col-
lective confirmed its estrange-
ment from HRP candidates,
ideals and tactics.
Accounts of the original coal-
ition between the Human Rights
Party and the Rainnbow Peo-
ple's Party are vague and con-
flicting. In 1970 a small group
of socialist radicals formed the
Radical Independent Party
(RIP). RIP ran 1971 write-in
campaigns for Jerry de Grieck
in the second ward city council
race, and Doug Cornell for ma-
The Rainbows decided that
RIP was not a viable alterna-
tive. Running a mayoral can-
didate would split the liberal
vote and elect Republican Gar-
ris (who, according to the Feb.
22, 1974 Sun, had "vowed to
run the hippies and radicals out
of Ann Arbor."). Rainbow Peo-
ple's Party (RPP) took a stand
for Democrat Robert Harris,
saying that their decision was
based on what was best for the
This was the first indication
that RPP and those who later
formed HRP did not see eye to
eye on electoral goals and stra-
tegies. Later situations would
confirm and accentuate these
mondon, Sun contributing editor
and one of a few RPP members
still involved with the Sun, when
Jerry de Grieck, Nancy Wech-
sler and others decided to form
a third party in Ann Arbor
affiliated with the state-wide
Human Rights Party, they ap-
proached RPP looking for sup-
port. Plamondon's impression
at the time was that HRP in-
tended to concentrate its ener-
gy and organizing tactics on its
primary base of support in
wards one and two. This, to
Plamondon, meant students and
long-time community residents
such as RPP members (mem-
bership is defined as living in

the Rainbow House on Hill St.
as part of an economic collec-
tive), and Sun staffers, among
others. Eventually the party
would expand its base of sup-
port to include city-and s t a t e-
wide races.
Whatever illusions either par-
ty may have had, RPP and
HRP managed to work together
productively during the 1973
City Council campaign. RPP
apologized for having supported

Harris instead of Cornell in the
mayoral race the year before,
and RPP member Genie Pla-
mondon was nominated for
third warwd council candidate.
disturbs this idyllic picture of
a united left by calling this
campaign "the first hint of
manipulation" (on the part of
RPP). He attributes Plamon-
don's nomination to her prom-
ise to abide by mass meeting
decisions. Phil Carroll, the oth-
er possible candidate, admitted
that he would have to abide by
decisions made at ward meet-
ings. "Me was honest," Shoich-
et tersely concludes.
It was at this point, Shoich-
et claims, that the Sun print-
ed its first lie of the c a m-
paigo: they insisted that do-
Grieck and Wechsler could win
in wards one and two, which
was possible, and that Plamon-
don could win in three, which
was not.
Plamondon was running
against a Democrat and Re-
publican William Colburn, a
University of Michigan speech
professor with mayoral ambi-
tions. The danger of vote-split-
ting, which largely influenced
the Sun's decision not to endorse
any HRP candidates in 1974,
was apparently not an issue
in 1972.

get it, and he didn't run.'
MANY OF RPP's disagree-
ments with HRP center around
the dangers of vote-splitting.
What made them disregard this
factor when considering : h e
sheriff's race?
"They thought that because
thousands of people came to
rock concerts, there were a
whole bunch of unregistered
freaks and counter-cultural typ-
es," Cahill explains. "But that
was incorrect. Most of those
people were from Detroit and
other places, and never could
have won the sheriff's race for
During that summer (1972)
RPP supported bail bondsman
Harold Moon for Democratic
sheriff's candidate. Fred Post-
ill, a relatively liberal De mo-
cratic contender,wasthe vic-
tim of a vicious campaign in
the Sun. "It was a smear from
start to finish," claims HRP's
Frank Shoichet. He adds t h a t
alegations and rumors about
Postill originated with Demo-
crat Harvey, were then trans-
mitted to Democrat Moon, pass-
ed on to Kohn, and eventually to
the Sun. Poolill's rebuttals were
printed because the Sun feared
a lawsuit, Shoichet says.
"IT IS NOT clear why RPP
wanted to support Harold Moon

"...The HRP is indirectly responsible for
the tremendous setbacks this community
has suffered at the hands of a Republican-
dominated Counci... To endorse any HRP
candidates would be to endorse the past
two years of needless setbacks . ..

"RPP SPENT a lot of energy
on Genie Plamondon's t h i r d
ward race," comments David
Cahill, a self-described com-
munity activist with a b a c k-
ground in people's law. "Ac-
cording to their philosophy of
vote-splitting, Genie Plamon-
don elected Colburn in the third
ward." Cahill is one of a few
people who maintains working
contacts with both factions: he
started working for HRP in
1972, and is also a Sun stafer.
After an exciting race t h a t
,*"o,,ltP in two seats for HRP
(de Grieck, First Ward and
Wechsler, Second Ward), many
Rainbow members began to get
disillusioned with HRP.
David Fenton, Sun business
manager and music editor, was
disappointed when HRP decid-
ed not to support the candidacy
of George McGovern at their
fall 1972 convention. He was al-
so exasperated by a decision
to use only feminine pronouns
in the platform. The last straw
was when HRP decided to run
Benita Kaimowitz for mayor in
1973. Fenton could not bring
himself to support or work for
Kaimowitz, giving vote-splitting
as his reason. "It would have
been like working for Stephen-
son," he insists.
ANOTHER hotly-debated is-
sue during the summer of 1972
was the sheriff's race. Accord-
ing to Plamondon, HRP w a s
wary of running a candidate for
sheriff, since the job involved
evicting and arresting people.
"'We'd get blood on our hands,'
they said, and we said 'Seize
the power,' Plamondon says
impatiently. He calls HRP's
idealism "ludicrous" and re-
members feeling betrayed when
ARP "backed out" of the sher-
iff's race.
RPP thought it had been
promised the sheriff's race if
HRP won the city election, Ca-
hill explains, with a tolerant
smile. But Nancy Wechsler,
former HRP councilperson, in-
sists that the Sun continues to
lie about the sheriff's race, and
that HRP voted to run but
couldn't find a candidate.
Howard Kohn, a Detroit Free
Press reporter, had considered
running. "Only the full sup-
port of HRP would have made
the race worthwhile. He didn't

for sheriff," Cahill says slow-
ly. "But he is disgusting. He
thought he was helping Harvey
by disrupting the Democrats
It is clear that the Sun and
RPP did sunort Moon, al-
thoiph they didn't want him to
he sheriff." Cahill continues.
"Thev tho'eht they coild weak-
en Postill and make an HRP
victory easier."
The sheriff's race includes
snch constitOencies as Dexter,
Vil'n. and Saline. making it a
diff;i-lt race for 5RP to beein
with. An ad'4ed hardshin was the
fNt that Hsrvev had insured
himself a ballot rnosition on the
Americsn Independent ticket.
When Postill won the nrima:y,
it became clear to Kohn and
to HRP that it was all a mis-
take, and that HRP could nev-
er win the sheriff's race.
Disagreements on issues and
tactics were further complicat-
ed by dissatisfaction with t h e
handling of discussions on is-
sues. The meetines became in-
tense and heated, and each side
acuMsed the other of trvine to
maninflate the nroedinsra. The
mast commolv l'sed tool was
narliamentary procedure,
whereby whoever was leading
the discussion could choose the
speakers and limit their speech.
SHOICHET'S account of the
1972 connvention meeting is as
following: After the McGovern
debate, Cahill accused HRP of
slander. The parliamentarian
wouldn't let RPP reply, and
they walked out. They were
persuaded to rejoin the meet-
ing and John Sinclair (RPP
leader) led discussion on the
sheriff's race, calling mainly on
his friends. RPP walked out
again when no sheriff's candi-
date appeared. The Sun con-
sequently came out with an
"HRP is screwed" article, and
never printed HRP's reply.
By fall 1972 there was al-
ready a considerable amount of
antagonism between the two
groups. The climax of hostilities
occurred at HRP's January 1973
mass meeting. The largest
meeting in the party's history
at 330 people, it was character-
ized by tension and divisiveness.
RPP won some seats on the
steering committee, but failed
to win what they wanted most.
(conunued onPage 5)

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